Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Just Because It's June, June, June!

June, by Leandro Bassano

Dear George,
The other day I ran across a Gallup poll that asked Americans to pick their favorite month of the year.  There wasn’t a clear frontrunner, but several months were bunched together at the top.  May was the favorite of 14% of respondents, followed by October (13%), and then a tie between June and December (12% each).  May and October are definitely excellent months, and Santa certainly elevates December, but I personally think June stands out from the rest.  Traditionally it’s the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation.  It has the longest days of the year, the rain has receded, and the weather is warm and pleasant (and not yet stifling).  You might see bluebirds in the front yard.  The flowers and trees are all in bloom, the swimming and camping seasons are in full sway, and romance is in the air.  This June the Warriors and Cavaliers are in the NBA finals.  All in all, it’s hard to imagine a better month.  Here are still more reasons why. 

Biggest and best.  We know that June is number one for Junebugs and cicadas.  Some other things for which June is the biggest and best month of the year are:
Most weddings (15) (Note: numbers in parentheses refer to sources listed at end)
Unlimited sports to watch (NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, U.S. Open in men’s golf, French Open, Wimbledon, major league baseball, FIFA World Cup soccer, the Belmont Stakes, etc.) (5) 
Record-setting hours of sunshine in Sacramento, CA (407 hours in June — the most in the world) (4)
Car sales at their peak (14)
Also cyber attacks (3) 
Best month for Caribbean vacations (14) 
Best time to buy lingerie or laptops (14) 
Farmers’ biggest sales of their products (hogs, eggs, fruits & vegetables, etc.) (13)

Pet holidays.  June isn’t just for human beings.  Our sheepdogs always perked up in June because, with longer and sunnier days, we began taking more walks in the neighborhood and going on more outings to area parks.  June, fittingly enough, is a major month for pet holidays and observances.  Here are some of the best known ones. 
June 1-30.  National Pet Preparedness Month
June 1-30.  Social Petworking Month
June 1-30.  Adopt a Shelter Cat Month
June 4.  Hug Your Cat Day
June 5-11.  Pet Appreciation Week
June 11.  Missing Mutts Awareness Day
June 12.  World Pet Memorial Day
June 17.  Ugliest Dog Day
June 20.  Take Your Dog to Work Day
June 21.  National Dog Party Day
June 24.  Cat World Domination Day  (2, 8)

Billboard hit singles.  I think June was most important when I was a teenager because that’s when I spent the most time outdoors socializing with peers.  While I can’t recall all the lyrics, I can hum all the tunes for the Billboard Number One Hit Singles for June during those years. 
1950: The Third Man Theme (Guy Lombardo)
1951: How High the Moon (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
1952: Kiss of Fire (Georgia Gibbs)
1953: The Song from Moulin Rouge (Percy Faith)
1954: Little Things Mean a Lot (Kitty Kallen)
1955: Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White) (Perez Prado)
1956: The Wayward Wind (Gogi Grant)  (16)

Paul Bunyan Day.  June is important to Yoopers because the 28th is the celebration of National Paul Bunyan Day.  Paul Bunyan, of course, is the giant lumberjack whose exploits, aided by his faithful companion Babe the Blue Ox, created the logging industry in the U.P., Wisconsin, the Great Northwest, and most other places.  It took five storks to deliver the newborn infant Paul to his parents, and they needed 24 cows to provide enough milk for baby Paul to drink.  Paul Bunyan created Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes to provide watering holes for Babe, and it’s said that he dug out the Grand Canyon by walking through and dragging his axe behind him.  When camping in Oregon, Paul piled rocks on top of his campfire to put it out, and that rock pile became Mount Hood.  I heard somewhere that Paul Bunyan created the Menominee River by scratching a line with his big toe between Iron Mountain and Menekaunee so that Babe would have a path to follow from the iron mines to the pristine waters of Green Bay.  (12)

Tennis birthdays.   My theory is that tennis players are likely to have June birthdays because June is the start of the tennis season for kids.  Just as I thought, a surprising number of Grand Slam winners are June births.  Here are their birthdays (along with their number of grand slam titles in parentheses).  
Don Budge, June 13, 1915 (6)
Doris Hart, June 2, 1925 (6)
Bjorn Borg, June 6, 1956 (15)
Steffi Graf, June 14, 1969 (22)
Lindsay Davenport, June 8, 1976 (3)
Venus Williams, June 17, 1980 (13)
Justine Henin, June 1, 1982 (7)
Kim Clijsters, June 8, 1983 (4) 
Rafael Nadal, June 3, 1986 (14)    (1, 10) 

June movies.  Filled with romance and new beginnings, June is a frequent theme of movies, songs, and works of art.  Here are a few movies we’ve seen (or might have seen) that have June in the title: June Bridge (1948), D-Day the Sixth of June (1956), Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1971), Walter and June (1983), Henry & June (1990), June (2004), June in January (2004), Junebug (2005), Six Days in June (2007), June 9 (2008), A Moment in June (2008), Hopelessly in June (2011), June, Adrift (2014)   (9) 

June History in Santa Cruz, CA.  Though my sister Vicki and brother-in-law George were yet to arrive, June 3rd, 1956, is memorialized in California history as the day that Santa Cruz city officials announced a total ban on rock and roll at public gatherings, calling the music “Detrimental to both the health and morals of our youth and community.”  (7)

June in our lives.  June has probably been the most significant month in our immediate family’s personal lives.  Here are some highlights.
June 1955: Katja graduated from Girls’ High in Philadelphia, and I graduated from Menominee HS, both of us headed for Antioch College in Yellow Springs.
June 1958: Katja left for a year abroad in Besancon and Vienna, and I set out for a summer in San Francisco as an aspiring fiction writer.
June 1960: We both graduated from Antioch, Katja in French, me in Psychology.
June 1962: Having finished our second year of graduate school in Ann Arbor, Katja and I began a summer-long camping road trip to the west coast and the Seattle’s World Fair.
June 1963, June 1964: We spent two summers in Bethel, Maine, as research assistants on a project dealing with identity change in NTL training groups (T-groups).
June 1964: Katja received her M.A. in French from UM.
June 1967: I taught my first Social Psychology summer school course as a new faculty member at UC.
June 1968: I received my Ph.D. in Social Psychology from UM.
June 1969: Six months pregnant, Katja finished up the school year as a French teacher at Finneytown HS. 
June 1973: I returned to Bethel to do research on stages of group development. 
June 1975: Our son J completed kindergarten at Clifton School. 
June 1981: J participated in his first Jr. Met tennis tournament at Cincinnati and the districts at Charleston, West Virginia.
June 1986: Katja received her M.S.W. from UC and began working at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind. 
June 1991: J graduated with a Sociology B.A. from Columbia University in NYC.  
June 1999: J received his M.D. degree from LSU Medical School in New Orleans.  
June 2008: I taught my last summer school class before retiring in January, 2009.
June 2012: Katja retired from the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
June 2014: Our grandchildren, L and V, graduated from kindergarten in New Orleans. 

Right now it’s sunny and 74 degrees in Cincinnati.  I’m going to go out, take my daily stroll up Ludlow Avenue, and get some Fitbit points.  A very happy June to all.

(1), “Famous Tennis players’ Birthdays, United States”; 
(2), “Bizarre, Crazy, Silly, Unknown Holidays: June”; 
(3), “10 Biggest Cyber Attacks In June”; 
(4), “Sunniest Places and Countries in the World”; 
(5), “Why this June is the best month for sports”; 
(6), “June is the  Biggest Month of the Year for Car Buyers”; 
(7), “Rock and roll is banned in Santa Cruz, California”; 
(8), “Pet holidays for 2016”; 
(9), “June”;
(10), “Birthday Blog”; 
(11), “The best months to buy everything”; 
(12), “National Paul Bunyan Day”; 
(13), “June Biggest Month Of Year For Farmers To Sell Their Products”; 
(14), “The best time to buy: 43 cheap finds throughout the year”; 
(15), “June is the biggest month for weddings1”; 
(16), "List of Billboard number one singles of 1950" etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment